Smoking in vehicles

23 September, 2015

U pdate on new law on smoking in cars and other vehicles with someone under 18.

From 1 October 2015 it will be illegal to smoke in a car (or other vehicles) with anyone under 18 present.  The law is changing to protect children and young people from the dangers of secondhand smoke.

Both the driver and the smoker could be fined £50.  The law applies to every driver in England and Wales, including those aged 17 and those with a provisional driving licence.  The law does not apply if the driver is 17 years old and is on their own in the car.

The law is changing to protect children and young people from the dangers of secondhand smoke.

Every time a child breathes in secondhand smoke, they breathe in thousands of chemicals.  This puts them at risk of serious conditions including meningitis, cancer, bronchitis and pneumonia.  It can also make asthma worse.

The law applies to any private vehicle that is enclosed wholly or partly by a roof.  It still applies if people have the windows or sunroof open, have the air conditioning on, or if they sit in the open doorway of the vehicle.  The law doesn't apply to a convertible car with the roof completely down.

The move follows a change to the law in July 2009 when England introduced smoke-free laws applying to vehicles.

Company vehicles were required to be smoke free at all times if they are used:

  • to transport members of the public, or
  • in the course of paid or voluntary work by more than one person - regardless of whether they are in the vehicle at the same time.
  • In Scotland it is an offence to smoke in any vehicle used for work, unless that vehicle is a car.  This rule also applies to vehicles from other parts of the UK.

    Smoke-free vehicles must display a no-smoking sign in each compartment of the vehicle in which people can be carried.  This must show the international no-smoking symbol no smaller than 70mm in diameter.

    When carrying persons, smoke-free vehicles with a roof that can be stowed or removed will not be required to be smoke free when the roof is completely removed or stowed.

    It should be noted that vehicles that are used primarily for private purposes and do not have children under the age of 18 are not required to be smoke free.


    Comments have been switched off for this post!